DIY Miss Universe Halloween Costume Refashion

diy miss uniververse halloween costume front back

Halloween is my favorite holiday, hands down.  MC and I always spend Halloween with friends, we make plans for the big night weeks in advance, and, best of all, we create our own costumes each year.  I love the challenge of sourcing materials, crafting and sewing up a storm until the last minute to bring our visions to life.  Like Frankenstein.  Because Halloween!  This DIY Miss Universe Halloween Costume tutorial will show you what I came up with this year, and how you can make a similar costume for yourself.  Or simply use the techniques I show here to come up with your own thing, resourcery and creativity always encouraged here at Crafty Sauce!

diy miss universe halloween costume refashion makeup and hair
Space tiara made from gold star wire garland.

Last year as I was in the throes of creating my Jem costume–yes, Jem, that TRULY OUTRAGEOUS duplicitous pink-haired rocker chick from the 80’s cartoon–I randomly came across this galaxy make-up pin on Pinterest.  I thought, “awesome, I should do a space-themed costume next year” and then promptly forgot all about it.  That is until early September of this year, the time of year I always begin envisioning my costume so that I’ll have plenty of time to bring it to fruition.  At first I brainstormed, toying with a few ideas, nothing too inspired, until I remembered the galaxy make-up from Pinterest, and voila!  Hey, I watch a lot of sci-fi, don’t judge.

diy miss universe halloween costume refashion solar system necklace
Solar system necklace with NASA images. by: WordosaurusText on Etsy.

I originally figured I’d be “space” or “the galaxy” and started ordering the components that I wasn’t able to make myself–a cheap space-colored wig from Ebay and a handmade solar system necklace from WordosaurusText on Etsy.  Quick tip, learned the hard way last year: always do any necessary online shopping ASAP to allow plenty of time for your costume supplies to arrive in the mail.  Once my online orders were complete, I went thrifting locally in search of a dress that I could paint in a space print.  I wouldn’t use anything new or expensive for this project on the off-chance something doesn’t go as planned, I’m not that experienced with fabric paint.

diy miss universe halloween costume refashion original dress
Caught my eye, reminded me of the sun, almost fit!

I wasn’t looking for an evening gown per se, but after exhausting the non-formal dress rack and coming up short I spied this sun-colored, multi-layered beast of a prom dress.  Just so happened to be my favorite color and the top layer was even speckled with lavender glitter, reminiscent of stars.  It was too perfect, then it dawned on me that if this gown were to be the basis of my costume I could also make a spaced-themed tiara and be “Miss Universe,” adding another element to the costume theme.

diy miss universe halloween costume refashion dress too small
A bit too small, but we’ll fix that right up.

Well, it was almost perfect; in the above picture you can see the only issue–it was a little too small.  I’m not as wide at the bust as my dressform so the gap wasn’t quite as large, but this was as far as I could zip the dress.  I have once before altered a too-small evening gown by adding lacing up the back above where the zipper stopped and it actually turned out really well, giving it a corseted effect.  This dress, however, zips up the side, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.  At the very least I felt confident that it would hold the dress up for a night and not be very noticeable, even if it wasn’t as pretty as the back lacing on the other dress.  Click here to see how I did it!

diy miss universe halloween costume refashion lacing
Quick fix ribbon lacing.

With the dress now wearable, it was time for the fun part.  Fabric paint!  First I decided where I wanted the galaxy print.  Since my dress is multi-layered with the bottom layer showing on one side, I worked with the design and painted only the part of the bottom layer that peeked out–very similar to the original make-up photo inspiration, actually.  With my dress on the form I pinned the top layer out of the way, then applied blue painter’s tape as a border for the area I wanted to paint.  The tape may not be necessary depending on your project, but I wanted my print confined to the part of the dress that would be showing so as not to waste paint on areas that wouldn’t be visible.

diy miss universe halloween costume refashion painter's tape
Taping off area to be painted.

I actually painted my dress while it was on the dressform as I had a large surface to cover and I don’t have a lot of room in my house.  If you are laying your fabric on a flat surface to paint it you will need to slide a piece of cardboard between the fabric layers because fabric paint will bleed through most fabrics.  For example, if you are only painting the front of a dress you don’t want the paint to bleed through to the back, so you would place the cardboard inside between the front and back of the dress.  If you are painting one layer of fabric you would still place cardboard underneath to keep paint off of your table/desk/etc.  Since I was painting with the dress on the dressform, I kept my left hand inside the dress to bear down on and to take the excess paint;  fortunately the paint washed off easily with soap and water because my left hand was completely covered by the end of each session.  Much less messy to work on a flat surface with cardboard if you can!

diy miss universe halloween costume refashion painting
The hand you can’t see is completely covered in paint.

Supplies for galaxy print:

soft fabric paint–lots of black, white for stars and blending, plus accent colors (I used blue, red, green and yellow and blended to create the colors I wanted)

fabric spray paint, optional (I used transparent glitter to add some sparkle and matte purple for accents)

foam paintbrushes and/or makeup sponges

skewer or fine-tipped paintbrush for detail work

paper plate, cardboard, or palette to hold paint

Basic Method:

Below is a video of how I created the galaxy effect.  I mixed paint directly on the fabric, using brighter colors in certain areas and blending into black with hints of grey and blue.  I stuck to circular shapes mostly but got a little crazy here and there, like adding a bright half moon shape along the hem to look like a planet or sun is peeking out.  If you prefer a darker overall color stick to blues and purples with the black.  I recommend looking at some actual space photos before you start, both for inspiration and also just because space photos are fun to look at.

Once my base layer was done I used purple fabric spray paint to brighten and blend a few areas (not shown in video), then I used a skewer with white paint to dot little stars all over.  If you want to add some shine, spray or dab glitter fabric paint in desired areas and blend with a foam brush.  You can also add little white crosses here and there using the skewer or fine-tipped paintbrush to represent larger stars.  That’s it, and make sure to allow plenty of drying time, 24-48 hours ideally, before wearing your new creation.

Music: “She-Wander(er)” by Big BloodFrom the Free Music ArchiveCC BY NC SA

P.S. MC was inspired by my costume and decided to go as an atom, the smallest thing since I was the largest thing.  😀

atomos jack


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